Los Angeles Rams: Three crucial preseason story lines

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(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The development of Jared Goff and whether or not he’s actually improved

 Jared Goff’s off-season development has to be one of the most important storylines leading up to the season.

The former first-overall pick was a major disappointment as he went from surefire superstar to a bottom five starting quarterback over the span of the 2016 season. Knowing his potential and what is at stake, Sean McVay and the rest of the organization has sent Goff a message—it’s time to shape up or ship out.

There is no excuse or time for failure.

After finishing the season at 4-12, the Rams had the worst offense in the league– with around 800 yards and 40 points less than the 1-15 Browns, who were the second worst scoring offense. This embarrassing campaign forced the Rams to retool their entire offense from top to bottom.

To remedy the poor run game and protect their potential franchise quarterback, they brought in All-Pro LT Andrew Whitworth from the Bengals during free agency. They were able to get TE Gerald Everett with their second round pick in the draft while also securing WR Cooper Kupp in the third. Throwing in free agent acquisition WR Robert Woods to the mix, the offense already looked serviceable.

Then, the Rams pulled off a trade for Sammy Watkins, who has flashed the potential to be a top tier receiver. Now, with an incredibly talented receiving corps and an improved O-line to give him more time in the pocket, Goff needs to produce.

Fortunately, he has showed some signs of potential growth this off-season.

During the week 2 preseason game against the Raiders, Goff showed flashes that could indicate that he has improved upon his play from a year ago- making some nice plays, including a deep bomb to Cooper Kupp that he wouldn’t have made a year ago.

The next week, however, he fell apart with 5 completions for 56 yards but giving the Chargers two turnovers with an interception and a fumble. While the Chargers do have a strong pass rush and a good secondary, Goff not only couldn’t make plays for the Rams but had a performance that was detrimental to the team.

With the two sides, we have seen from Goff this preseason and the weapons he has at his disposal, it is a coin flip on whether or not Goff can perform in the regular season. All he needs to do to secure his job is show that he is capable of getting it to his receivers and opening up the running game without hurting his team with turnovers. Hopefully, his performance this weekend against the Packers will reveal which Goff fans will see this season.

If the abysmal play continues though, don’t be surprised if the Los Angeles Rams use their high draft pick to find his replacement in a class that promises to provide multiple transcendent talents at quarterback.